Documentary to be filmed live at The Big Shave West 2, April 23 in Pasadena, CA.
4/19/16 - Pasadena, California - What promises to be the largest assembly of Traditional-Wet-Shavers ever, plans are now in place to film and produce a documentary on-site the day of the event to chronicle what some would think such an unlikely phenomenon. The Big Shave West 2, to be held April 23 at The Old Town Shaving Company at Stats in Pasadena California, is set to showcase the explosion in enthusiasm and the resurgence of shaving 'like your grandfather did’ with traditional double edge safety razors, straight razors, shaving brush, bowl, and cream.
How the concepts of shaving and enthusiasm could possibly mix is the question on most people’s minds when first confronted with the notion. The unexpected and tremendously welcomed enthusiasm is usually revealed upon one’s first 'go’ at tossing the much more common multi-blade razor and store bought canned goo (aerosol shave cream) and one’s first shave with the equipment grandpa used to shave with. The ultimate reason, the ultimate revelation … ahhhh … FINALLY, a smooth, close, and comfortable SHAVE !!! From that first moment on … most shaving 'converts’ are completely hooked into this return of traditional-wet-shaving methods and equipment … and that is precisely were the enthusiasm is spawned.
The Old Town Shaving Company at Stats opened in the fall of 2013 just as the awareness of traditional -wet-shaving was becoming a 'movement’ of sorts. Its mission was to bring the concept of men’s grooming back to 'this side of the pond’, and a concept never lost on most Western-European men. Think of the Gentlemen’s Shoppes of London, Paris, and Rome … and that’s what Old Town Shaving was intent on exposing to our men 'here.’ Although just as with most products nowadays, rife to the extent of ridiculous over the internet … these types of products are rarely seen in actual brick-and-mortar retail settings. Buying a laptop computer or perhaps a camera or television over the internet is facilitated by spec sheets. Buying scented shave soaps and aftershaves or a 'man-tool,’ a razor made of solid stainless steel, is quite something different as the buyer misses out on the tactile feel and of course sensory smell associated with these products. The brick-and-mortar component of this particular buying experience is simply one not attainable on-line, and one that Old Town Shaving originally set out to offer.
Since their opening, the shop has become a mecca to traditional-wet-shaving enthusiasts the world-over. People plan their trips to the west coast with a visit to
the shop in-mind, and often times it is overheard in the shop that this 'had to be my first stop’ ! In April 2015, Old Town Shaving staged its first event, the inaugural version of 'The Big Shave West,’ which was a conglomeration of established and artisanal vendors from as far away as England, Scotland, Canada, and Australia as well as a host of local and country-wide makers. Admission to the event was free and the response from enthusiasts was overwhelming. “We really did not know what to expect and as it turns out … we were busting-at-the-seams,” recalls owner Damon Stathatos. Calls for a repeat performance were immediate and resounding.
As if the immediate success of the event was not enough, what turned out to be an impromptu albeit impressive and quasi-professional video production thrown together at 'the last minute’ by one of the more avid vendors, Matt Pisarcik of Razor Emporium … gained immediate acclaim within the enthusiast 'world’ and was a way for the masses of people from around the country who were not able to attend … to live it vicariously though the video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUDqi7Nepmg
As a side-note, Matt is no stranger to this wet-shaving-world and considered an expert on Gillette history, production, and vintage product, so much so that Gillette themselves often call on Matt for a clarification here or there. The success of the video Matt and crew threw together that day has prompted the all-out plan of completely covering this year’s event with an eye on the documentary aspects of this 'movement’ and all of the enthusiasts who are involved. The concept for this years film is the brain child and collaboration of Douglas Smythe, event sponsor and co-owner of Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements, Matt and his accomplice behind the camera, Marisa Neel. “We desire the human story, the people behind the community. More than just how we shave and the tools we choose to use. The substance any quality documentary focuses on,” states Smythe. That said, attendees are encouraged to help us tell the story, film their own experiences as well and to upload them to be used in the production, which will be sure to lend a unique yet accessible perspective of what the wet shave revival is truly all about.
We believe that the documentary production of the event, as well as the event itself will lend themselves to groundbreaking impacts to those who have yet to experience or be exposed to these people … 'people who are enthused every morning and for every shave,’ or exposed to those products which have been the lit-fuse in their 'shaving lives.’
At the end of the game, most enthusiasts will agree with and possibly quote the great Jack Kemp … “Winning is like Shaving … you do it every day or you end up looking like a bum” !!